Fear vs Faith: How We Make Decisions

As Millennials, most of us are at some stage of what Elder Robert D. Hales calls the “decade of decision.” Apparently, the decisions we make right now about higher education, career paths, marriage, location and so on will shape what the rest of our lives – and eternity – will be.
No pressure, right?

The realization that most of them have no “right” and “wrong” answers make these decisions even more difficult.

A lot of the pressure we feel about the decisions we are making in our lives can be relieved when we realize that it isn’t necessarily about WHAT we decide to do, but HOW we reach our decision.

A Choice Between Two Goods

I recently had a friend who had been dreaming about serving a mission for most of her life and was diligently preparing to serve. She started her papers as soon as she was able. As she finished them, she started going on dates with this guy. Now she faced a huge decision. Should she stay and pursue things with him? Or should she move forward with her papers and serve the mission she’d always dreamed of?

So, she put her papers on hold but didn’t fully commit to the guy she was dating. She wasn’t sure which direction to go. But by doing that, she was putting her life – and her progression – on hold. She was frozen by fear. The fear  of making the wrong decision until she realized that, between the two, there wasn’t one. From that point on, she determined to make her decision out of faith in Christ, and not out of fear of what she would be giving up with either choice.

Doing vs Becoming

The whole point of us being on this earth is to become more like Christ and not just do Christlike things. How is the way you are making decisions in your life right now helping or hindering that goal? Do you register for the “easy classes” because you are afraid of failure? Or rush to DTR because you are afraid of being alone forever? Do you take the first job you can get even though you hate it because you are afraid no one else will ever want to hire you? Well, in the words of President Uchtdorf: Stop it.
In fact, here are some other great words from President Uchtdorf:

“Fear rarely has the power to change our hearts, and it will never transform us into people who love what is right and who want to obey Heavenly Father.”

The author of fear tries to undermine agency by tempting us to use it incorrectly – or not at all. This tactic includes leading us to make good decisions for the wrong reasons. Fear of missing out, fear of future regrets, or any other type of fear might motivate us to make good decisions, but those fears will never help us to spiritually progress.

We can do a lot of good things out of fear. But God can make something good out of us if we make our decisions based on faith. Faith that as we do our best to follow Jesus Christ, there is no way we can mess up His plan for us.

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